OREANDA-NEWS. February 19, 2016. With the traditional pyramid-shaped social structures becoming more diamond-shaped, an era of fraying customer loyalty and tightening competition is gradually emerging, writes Jayajyoti Sengupta. More than ever before, customer experience management (CEM) is playing an increasingly important role in business growth. Companies need a well-defined CEM strategy to boost revenue and competitiveness. Excerpts:

For a start, CEM enables strategic management of various customer touch-points by providing what the customers want, when they want, where and how they want it. It should come as no surprise that customer experience can have significant impact on revenues. An emotionally connected consumer is more likely to stick with the company for extended periods of time, thereby increasing customer lifetime value and revenues. In the same regard, a satisfied and connected customer is more inclined to recommend the company to others. Here are five main focus areas to take into consideration when developing the blueprint of a comprehensive CEM strategy.

Process management: A well-defined process forms the backbone of a successful company and also ensures a consistent experience for customers, regardless of channel. Companies need to allocate a sufficient budget and appoint a CEM manager.

Stakeholder management: Managing key stakeholdersorganization, employees and partnersis crucial to implementing a successful CEM strategy.

Information management: To deliver an exceptional customer experience, companies need to cultivate a product data repository containing specifications, performance details, and usage instructions. A comparative analysis consisting detailed information of competitors products should also be captured and together, this provides insights into customer sentiment, behavior and spending levels.

Communications management: Successful CEM initiatives often hinge on the manufacturers ability to manage and control its communication with employee, partners and customers. While traditional media such as TV, newspaper and helplines remain salient, modern channelssocial media, mobile, blogs and review sitesneed to be actively and consistently managed to ensure all touch-points maintain a consistent customer experience throughout.

Performance management: Employee metrics such as performance management and recognition for exceptional performance in the customer experience domain should be used as a source of motivation for employees.

The CEM maturity of an organization is about the extent and discipline of that organizations involvement in driving and executing practices required to design, implement, and manage customer experience. By fine-tuning internal operations and integrating robust analytics tools to improve their customer satisfaction scores, organizations can ascend the CEM maturity ladder.